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Unfiltered Happiness by Payal Pal

By Volunteer Payal Pal, FHI Mumbai 

Heal the soul first, then the healing of the mind and body will follow. This was the core of the event held by ‘Fly Higher India NGO – FHI’ in the month of May ’19.

This was my second event with FHI, each event opening up spaces I wanted to.. since a very long time. I eased effortlessly through the first one, but the May’19 event theme drew me towards it the moment I heard as I recognize that I feed my body with too much negated feelings and it was time to feed the foremost part of ourselves, “Soul” I have always cocooned myself and FHI is helping me break free from it.

The event started off with chanting ‘AUM’ thus activating the body and leading to peace and clarity followed by pranayamas and asanas which led to the kids being lost in the jungle with the hisses of the snake (Shitkari) to the roar of the lion (Simhasana). The loudest roar being that of Vishal Sir (FHI Founder who flew in all the way from Bangalore to join us, a pleasant surprise indeed). The energy was palpable and I saw eager faces, faces who wanted to learn something new or some happy to already know about it. This was followed by becoming one with the core of the jungle i.e the trees (Vrikshasana) and a loyal friend (Uttasana). As we paved our way we incorporated some much needed laughter into our lives; as loud as possible yet different like us, pieces of puzzle that fit together.

Then began the activities but there was a 10 minute time that made me smile every time I think about it. Among the children was a girl named, Shreya. She held my hand and started to swing it while having a conversation. She wanted to dance and enquired if I did. I answered with a “Nahi” (no). Surprised she asked me, “Kyun Nahi” (”Why not?”) and then followed by listing out her favourite songs and then said that she could dance to any given song. I thought.. we all need that kind of rhythm in our lives and just dance.. right?

The kids with enthusiasm played games which tested awareness, co-ordination and concentration (The volunteers needed to work on theirs became evidently clear). It led to a camaraderie with everyone wanting to reach the end, followed by balancing the balloon which required team effort, perfect as it’s just not us but also people around who contribute to the well being of our “Mind Body Soul” During this time a little girl held my hand who was so eager that she just wanted to dive in, thus not letting go. After a while again when a new activity was introduced spontaneously, Shreya insisted in having the red balloon. She likes the color red and was adamant that she wanted to change the pink one she had. She seemed to know clearly what piqued her interest and made her happy, a far cry from our haphazard way of life that involves overthinking.

This was followed by a session where we had to thank each other, where a boy named Abdul learned something that I don’t often practice and very well told by Vishal Sir, the way of acknowledging everyone in the room, then thanking us as teachers and them being in the same position as us to lead others in the near future. It’s the little things that make your day and it sure made mine. We all felt nothing but, “Unfiltered Happiness.”

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